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Fiction by Andrew S. Taylor
Music by Steve Kane

The Emergency Broadcast System by DK McDonald

The Seven Faces of Assassin:
5. The Emergency Broadcast System


       This has been a test of the emergency broadcast system. Had this been an actual emergency, the tone you have just heard would have been followed by information and instructions.

       Ironically, had the emergency been severe enough, it is entirely possible that we would not have been able to generate the tone and issue instructions in the first place. Which in fact means that the severest and most dire of emergencies are, for all intents and purposes concerning the emergency broadcast system, utterly indistinguishable from a state of no emergency at all.

       It is worth considering, therefore, that at any moment of apparent normalcy, an emergency of the gravest and most imminently deadly proportions is unfolding that cripples the very infrastructure of your local crisis-management system. Taken in this light, the sounding of the tone over your radio or television system should be regarded as a sign that, whatever is happening, the means to deal with it are still fully in place and operational. We therefore suggest that the sound of the tone be a source of comfort, rather than alarm.

       We repeat, the sound of the tone is a source of comfort, rather than alarm. The sound of the tone means that everything is being dealt with. The sound of the tone means that you need only stay at home, and listen to the instructions on your radio or television set. As long as you hear the tone and follow the instructions, everything will be okay. The only time when things may not be okay is when you cannot hear the tone and follow the instructions, so it is therefore advisable that you leave your radio or television set on at all times. Because, in the end, there really is no better guarantee of your personal safety than hearing the tone and following the instructions.

       This concludes our test of the emergency broadcast system. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.

The Seven Faces of Assassin:God by DK McDonald
6. God


       Now the daylight is gone. Now I point the flashlight in your face.

       Look into the light. Don’t stop looking just because it hurts. Look at the swimming colors. Keep looking. Keep looking. If you blink, I’ll hit you. Keep looking. The colors are swimming and changing shape. Keep looking. Keep looking.

       Now, stop. Now I turn the flashlight off, and we sit alone together in the Great Big Dark. And still you see the swimming colors. The light is gone, but the colors swim. Your eyes can be opened or closed – it makes no difference in the dark. You can go blind. It makes no difference. You will always see colors and shapes and they will always be changing, no matter what you do.

       I will leave you now. I will leave you alone in the Great Big Dark, and I’m taking the flashlight with me. Maybe I’m coming back, and maybe I’m not. Maybe you can follow me in the dark, and maybe you can’t. You can try to follow me, but you’re not allowed to try until I’m so far away that you can’t hear me. If you try before then, I’ll kill you. You must stay here alone until you can hear nothing and see nothing but the colors and the changing shapes.

       Let that be a lesson to you.


Destruction by DK McDonaldThe Seven Faces of Assassin:
7. Demolition


       When the ink is black, it looks like there are holes in the paper - places where the paper isn't. Something that is black is light-less. Words are formed on the page by making places on the paper where there is no light. The ink covers the light. The paper is white, and white is the color of all colors together. The paper is a picture of everything, and the words on the page are made by adding to the everything a tincture of nothing.

       My language is the language of thin, black holes of nothing, carved into the bright, perfect everything. My language is the impress of darkness. My language is a form of controlled demolition.

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last update: November 19, 2008